Designer Diseases?

Marko Gogala mgogala at iskon.hr
Tue Aug 14 18:40:37 EST 2001

Bacteria wouldn't work with blue-eyed people,because bacteria ren't very
much affected by genetic differences that small.A virus is a completly
different thing.It is possible to construct a virus that iserts it's genome
between the eye-color genome and it's neighbour and could only do that if
the eye-color genome coded blue eyes.This is already being done,but not for
people.Viruses that kill rats or myce,but don't affect other roden'ts have
been constructed.
"Mark Thorson" <no-spam at sonic.net> wrote in message
news:3B756CD0.257B42F2 at sonic.net...
> Wordly Huffman wrote:
> > Have things gotten to the point where biologists can change a
> > bacterium or virus so that it will become active only if certain
> > characteristics exist in the host? So that, for example, if somebody
> > wanted to diminish the number of blue-eyed people, he could alter some
> > deadly disease so that it did its work only in blue-eyed people?
> There are deadly diseases which are specific to one's genetic
> heritage.  For example, having just one copy of the sickle-cell
> anemia gene increases your resistance to malaria.  It's believed
> that's why this otherwise deleterious gene was able to propagate.
> (Two copies of this gene makes you vulnerable to sickle-cell.)
> I suppose an airborne agent which preferentially attacked people
> who either had this gene or did not have this gene would be
> within the realm of reasonable science fiction.  Coming up with
> an agent to attack blue-eyed people would be much more
> difficult, unless you could find some fundamental difference
> between them and everybody else.  In the case of sickle-cell
> anemia, that difference is one amino acid in the hemoglobin
> molecule.

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